Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genome blueprint for horse and human vaccines

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Two strains of Streptococcus bacteria that have evolved to cause potentially fatal infections in either horses or humans use the same box of tricks to cause disease. Exploiting their genetic similarities could lead to novel vaccines for both man and beast, according to a new review.

Streptococcus equi binding to the equine tonsil Caption: Streptococcus equi binding to the equine tonsil.
Credit: Professor John Timoney

Two strains of Streptococcus bacteria, that have evolved to cause potentially fatal infections in either horses or humans, use the same box of tricks to cause disease. Exploiting their genetic similarities could lead to novel vaccines for both man and beast, according to a review published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Streptococcus pyogenes is responsible for tonsillitis, scarlet fever and toxic shock syndrome in humans. Its equine equivalent, Streptococcus equi, infects horses to cause a disease called strangles. Each strain is well-adapted to their particular host yet their strategies for causing disease are remarkably similar.

Strangles is one of the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases of horses worldwide. There are estimated to be more than 600 outbreaks in the UK each year, each costing up to many thousands of pounds to resolve. Streptococcus equi infects the lymph nodes in the head and the neck leading to abscesses that can restrict the airways -- giving the disease its name.

The secret to the success of S. equi is its ability to trade genes with similar bacteria such as S. pyogenes, explained Dr Andrew Waller from the Animal Health Trust, who conducted the review focusing on S. equi. "These strains share clever tricks, like secreting 'superantigens' that allow the microbes to send the immune system into turmoil yet avoid detection themselves," he said. Another shared trait is the production of SlaA -- a toxin related to the venom of the Australian brown snake -- that is associated with serious disease in humans. "The resemblances between the two strains prove it is unrealistic to study human and animal pathogens in isolation, in our quest to understand and fight them," stressed Dr Waller.

Data shows that the number of cases of serious, invasive S. pyogenes infection has increased in recent years in England. "Tracking the genetic evolution of micro-organisms such as S. equi will give us clues as to how its human counterpart S. pyogenes has evolved in the past and may evolve in the future. This will help equip us with the tools to combat the diseases caused by both pathogens," explained Dr Waller.

The emerging genetic data of S. equi is being used as a blueprint to develop a new vaccine against strangles, which ultimately could benefit both horses and humans. "One vaccine against strangles that is currently being trialed uses antigenic components that share similarity with their S. pyogenes counterparts to stimulate immunity," said Dr Waller. "If this approach can protect horses against S. equi, it is feasible that a similar cocktail of S. pyogenes antigens may be the basis for an effective vaccine for humans, which is an exciting prospect."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. S. Waller, R. Paillot, J. F. Timoney. Streptococcus equi: a pathogen restricted to one host. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.028233-0

Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Genome blueprint for horse and human vaccines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190902.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2011, July 14). Genome blueprint for horse and human vaccines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190902.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Genome blueprint for horse and human vaccines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714190902.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins